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Getting ready for overnight camp: tips for first-timers – and their parents

There are few things more exciting in a kid’s life than their first sleepaway camp. How do you prepare your kids – and yourself – for this big event? Drawing on my own experiences as the parent of a teenager who’s a happy camper, as well as conversations with other parents, I’ve identified seven things you should do.

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What type of camp will your child like?

When I was younger, I only had one choice for summer camp – the town camp. The town camp was a traditional six-hour camp with a heavy emphasis on sports. I was more of a bookworm than an athlete, so this type of camp was not a good match for my personality. I remember coming home every day whining to my mom, “it was so hot and all we did was play (fill in a sport). Do I have to go to camp tomorrow?” By the end of the summer, I’m sure my mom wished there were other options for me.

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Summer camps create confidence

Just imagine… school is out, the sun is shining, and your children are bouncing off the walls with energy at home. You love them so much and want to create special memories, as this is your chance to spend quality time with them. You want to create a memorable summer for your kids, but also need a little ‘down time’ for yourself to rest and recharge.

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Fostering healthy competition

You’ve probably heard the term “healthy competition” before. When compared to unhealthy competition, of course, we want our children engaged in the good side of it! But as a parent, do you know the signs of healthy versus unhealthy competition? Selecting sports and activities for children is a daunting exercise, and can be marked with your own personal experiences from your youth. But there are key components of competition that will create a sporting environment where your child will develop their skills and have fun.

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